Thursday, January 23, 2020

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Quick Morning Update

It is now just after 7:00 AM and I have been up for over an hour. I have gone through emails, worked on photos, checked the FB page for various groups that I follow and finished my first cup of coffee. Hubby is still in bed, but the radio alarm is due to go off in minutes as he has invited a visitor to come at 8:30 and check out our oyster rafts as he discusses how oysters improve water quality. It gives hubby a chance to expound on his expertise. He is slowing down in old age and the opportunity to be an expert at his age does not come often.  I think this visitor is starting some company for floating oyster rafts driven by solar power...should be interesting.

Then we take a break for lunch and in the afternoon we are both listening to an online seminar given by a university in how to deal with nearby woodlands.  We are surrounded by woodlands and interested in ways we can keep them alive and healthy.  We had to pay for the course and its six seminars, but the hour can also be applied to our annual education requirement for our Master Gardener's group.  I may find interesting things to share on my blog for those who do not have time to take online courses.

The woodlands have changed.  I see more woodpeckers and more dying trees.  The undergrowth has been eaten away by deer, but the deer have been winnowed by my neighbors hunting across the road!  Branches get scattered in high winds making the normal shadows even barer.  

I have taken two days of long walks in woods (not ours) and have a bunch of photos of that beauty to post on my other blog.  We drove to two state parks that we have never visited in our winter boredom.  When I get that done I will link back to here so you can walk with me!

Well, I must go straighten the scattered magazines, piles of receipts on end tables, etc. so that the visitor does not see how we really live!  

Friday, January 17, 2020

Giving January Its Due

January is the cruelest month. Short days with little sun. Wind and weather that steals through your very skin. Endless politics on the TV. The continual battle not to eat all that fattening comfort food that you/I crave. Finding places to put that holiday gift you will never use.  And to add to the deep thoughts, some of my dear friends and bloggers are fighting personal health battles. Mortality is a big canvas staring me in the face these days.

I try to be a realist and accept that all things change both rapidly and slowly.  My grandchildren find me less interesting and more quaint.  Most of my friends are old people.  My routines are in concrete and interruptions make me like the stereotypical old foggey...grumpy.

Since my time is shorter on this planet, I tend to have less patience and have to control my temper when the change that I want does not happen fast enough or when a change is imposed upon me.

My calendar for the New Year is filling with activities in the coming months and like the smuck that I am, I wish it was not so full.  I want to crawl away and lick my wounds and sigh and be introverted.  Instead, I have a family that is busy making sure we are busy.

Not complaining but creakily adjusting.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Comments on a Blog

It is getting harder to monitor anonymous comments on blog posts.  When they praise me for my insight, excellent writing or want to offer advice on how I can get more people to my "wonderful" blog...all written in broken English...that makes it easy to recognize the commenter as nefarious.  I mark it as spam and delete it.  I am not a super popular blog, so I wonder how those who get many dozens of comments handle it all?

I got this anonymous comment yesterday, on a really old post, below:

"Tabor, thank you for correcting me.  I should not be commenting at 5:30 in the morning. My daughter is always telling me to PROOF READ."  This was followed by a link to some furnace ad!  (Furnace Calgary Prices Calgary)

This was an older post written after my first trip to Calgary Canada and I guess the business model is to search blogs for city names?

I do allow unmonitored comments for the first week only after a new post.  This usually means only one deletion.  After that comments are held for moderation by me.  That seems to allow me to screen most of the "scrap" from the real thing.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

This Is All About the Complexity of Shoes

I bought myself a gift of fancy boots for Christmas and I have to be careful and wear them only on dry days.  These shoes are pretty comfortable!  I still have some vanity, unlike the wearers of the shoes that I feature below.

The above photo (created with some digital alterations for mood) was taken this past fall. You may guess that it was photographed outside someone's home or an ancient temple. Those are two places where people remove their shoes out of cleanliness or worship.  It was taken outside the Canggu Monastery temple in Lhasa, Tibet, China.  Look at the shoes. I was studying this and saw an unusual variety in style and color, but they were ever practical. These are the shoes of Buddhist nuns. They must shave their heads and wear the red robes each day.  No need to decide what to wear or try to find something that fits that newly expanded waistline.  Maybe having that stress removed was one reason for the peaceful smiles that they all gave us.  You just have to decide on shoe style.

This photo above (painterly) was taken at the Canggu Nunnery in Lhasa.  The nunnery is open to the public.  In Buddhism, nuns can take on the same roles as monks in teaching, preaching, performing rituals, etc.  Although some sects are more strict than others.  (All religions seem to have some misogyny based on gender.)

About 100 nuns live here and the monastery has existed since the 12th century.  They make money by manufacturing items such as clothing and printed texts as well as donations.  The nunnery also runs a clinic and employs professional doctors and serves the local residents.  The nuns are loved and trusted by the local residents because of this.  They also run a tea and bun house, but I did not have time to purchase tea as I was off taking photos!

Now back to the shoes.  They are all very similar and practical.  They are easy to remove as the nuns must do this several times a day.  Yet some are a little more flashy than others.  I was wondering if a bit of their personality escapes through the shoes.  Are the shoes donated?  Are the shoes purchased by the sect?  Can nuns go shopping?  Feel free to enlighten me in the comments.

We also were able to watch them doing laundry.  If they had not been so sweet and gentle this might have seemed intrusive.  Here below is another photo that raises so many questions.

I look forward to your comments!

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Washing the Air

This past weekend, like many extended families, we had a post Christmas get together and exchange of gifts. Since there were nine of us, it got to be much like Christmas Morning all over again, except hubby and I and my son and his wife went out for Chinese lunch just before. (But maybe Chinese food is now also a holiday tradition in many families.) Anyway, the weather was predicting heavier rain in the afternoon and hubby and I tried to get an early start to the hour drive back home as the days are also short! I snapped the photo below on my phone as we saw we were driving into even heavier weather!

Getting back to our empty house (we had also dropped off the granddog which we had been dog-sitting for over a week) and this gloomy evening made the house seem even more somber. I kept looking for a tiny dog to pet, but it was just us two creaky old folks and hubby did not want any petting but did want a cup of hot tea.

This morning we woke to sunshine, but even better, the air had been washed super clean once again.

That did seem to lighten  and brighten our spirits.

Friday, January 03, 2020

Mind Mazes

Why do all of my most interesting questions, resolutions, ideas, and original thoughts happen at night as I settle in to fall asleep? I tell myself that the idea I am pondering might be a gem to pursue on my blog. My readers are erudite and outspoken and certainly could add something to the thought maze I have created as my mind misfires in the dark bedroom. 

Sometimes it is something I followed on the news while other times it is a phrase that captured my thoughts in one of the few books I am reading.  Other times it is an observation of human nature that interrupted my errands.

Then elusive sleep smothers my brain and I sleep the sleep of the half-dead, up a time or two and back to deep sleep.  The marvelous ideas evaporate with the disappearance of the morning fog on the river as the sun warms the air.

I am kind of glad because I somehow suspect that the thought that slithered off was something really inane.  Something of inconsequential importance or supercilious significance. If it had carried any weight, would it not have plunked itself on my chest as I lay in my bed in the morning demanding my immediate attention?